I will start off by saying that I am not a big fan of prior films directed by Martin Scorsese. I have seen a number of them, but they too often come across as overly dark, gritty, morose, or violent for my tastes. But, that is until now. As the title for this blog post states, Hugo is simply magnificent – from the story, to the acting, to the characters, to the special effects, to the cinematography, and to the film history presented.
As an urban planner, the aerial images and street scenes of post World War I Paris were spellbinding. Furthermore, the visual and spoken comparisons of a city operating much like a well-oiled machine were spot on. As was so clearly shown in the classic musical Oliver! in 1968, Hugo candidly depicts the dangers and precarious daily life for street orphans during the Industrial Revolution.
To venture briefly off-topic, any person who thinks children could or should be laborers, certainly lacks the heart, ethics, and moral fiber necessary to be a leader. That includes candidates for elected office.
As an amateur historian, I greatly enjoyed learning more about early film history and life in France during this era. Best of all was the timeless story and the cast of wonderous characters in Hugo. Here’s the official trailer from the film:
The story is entertaining, riveting, and heartwarming all at the same time. Each character is brought to life by the actors with grace, charm, and subtle wit. I knew Ben Kingsley (George Melies) and Jude Law (Hugo’s father) would be terrific, but Sacha Baron Cohen (the Station Inspector) was a splendid surprise and shows how truly gifted he is as an actor.
The two young stars, Asa Butterfield (Hugo) and Chloe Grace Moretz (Isabelle) will capture your imagination and your heart as they partake in this grand and mysterious adventure in storytelling and filmmaking. The repartee between them will bring a warm smile to your face. Great, great screenplay writing.
Go see this movie – it is a delight that is appropriate for all ages. When reviewer Stephen Clifton said, “Hugo is Scorsese’s love letter to cinema,” he was 1,000 percent correct. Definitely go see the movie Hugo and share in this gift of Martin Scorsese’s cinematic dreams!
By the way…did I happen to mention that Johnny Depp is one of the producers of the movie?